Post-Doctoral Researcher sought for the NICHD-funded Mother-Infant Neurobiological Development (MIND) study

Job Description

Post-Doctoral Researcher sought for the NICHD-funded Mother -Infant Neurobiological Development (MIND) study, a three-site Harvard Medical School collaboration between Dr. K. Lyons-Ruth at Cambridge Hospital, Dr. E. Grant at Boston Children’s Hospital, and Dr. M. Teicher at McLean Hospital.  The central aim of the research is to explore how maternal stress and brain morphology may translate into deviations in infant stress response, infant attachment behavior, and infant neurobiology over the first year of life. 
We are seeking a highly motivated post-doctoral candidate in developmental psychology or neuroscience, with an interest in the quality of the early parent-infant relationship and its interface with infant stress response and maternal and infant neurobiology. An additional component of the study is looking at epigenetic aging in mothers and infants, in collaboration with Dr. Kerry Ressler, McLean Hospital. This is a two -year position, with funding allocated through June 30, 2026. Salary and benefits are competitive. Behavioral and cortisol data have already been collected and coded on 161 families with infants at both 4 and 15 months, in a sample stratified for severity of maternal childhood maltreatment. Selected subsamples of the larger study have maternal neuroimaging data and infant neuroimaging data. The successful candidate must have excellent writing skills, as well as methodological and statistical skills in R or MPlus for analyzing data on infant behavioral and neurobiological markers over the first two years of life. A number of influential publications documenting infant brain and behavioral correlates of the mother’s childhood maltreatment have already appeared (

The position is housed in the laboratory of the Biobehavioral Family Studies Lab, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School at the Cambridge Hospital, Cambridge, MA, to begin in spring/summer 2024. The study takes advantage of extensive research capabilities of Harvard Medical Area sites, and is being conducted in collaboration with the MRI labs at McLean Hospital (adult neuroimaging) and Boston Children’s Hospital (infant neuroimaging). Dr. Lyons-Ruth and her colleagues are committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusivity in the field. The Fellow will work with Drs. Lyons-Ruth, Teicher, Grant, and Ressler on developing publications from the study. There is also ample opportunity to pursue research questions of particular interest to the candidate within the scope of the study.


  • Assist in analysis of mechanisms contributing to how maternal stress and brain morphology may translate into deviations in infant stress response, infant attachment behavior, and infant neurobiology over the first year of life.
  • Supervise RA’s.
  • Participate in all phases of data analysis and scientific writing during the two-year post-doctoral period.


REQUIREMENTS: Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology, Neuroscience, or Clinical Science.  
EXPERIENCE: Must be able to manage complex projects involving research assistant staff and have strong data analytic skills (SPSS, R, MPlus). Excellence in scientific writing is also highly desirable, as are good interpersonal and communication skills.

APPLICATION: Interested applicants should send a letter detailing their research interests and accomplishments, as well as the names and contact details for three references to [email protected].